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Commercial privacy bill of rights aimed to protect people on the internet.

There are currently no rules set in place as it relates to the privacy of individuals and how their personal information is used and shared on the internet. 

A new privacy bill introduced on Tuesday would establish rules requiring accountability from internet companies that utilize the private information of individuals.  

The bill would establish a regulatory framework for gathering personal data about users on sites like Facebook and Google.   
Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) are spearheading a measure that would force companies to explain how they collect information and what they do with it.

"Consumers want to shop, browse and share information in an environment that is respectful of their personal information," McCain said at a news conference. "Our legislation sets forth a framework for companies to create such an environment and allows businesses to continue to market and advertise to all consumers, including potential customers."

The new bill, backed by the Obama administration, may also make it harder for sites to use personal information to target and create profiles on individual internet users.

Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights [PDF] would provide consumers with more control over their personal information and how that data is collected and shared with third parties.

Companies would need an individual's consent to collect names, e-mail addresses, and credit card numbers if the bill becomes law.  They would also need consent to collect information about religion, sexual identity, medical conditions and other sensitive information.  An offer to opt out of data collection would be required for users as well.

"Our bill seeks to respect the ability of businesses to advertise, while also protecting consumers' personal information," said McCain.

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By EricMartello on 4/14/2011 3:22:14 PM , Rating: 1
Privacy policies for each individual website you register for that may change at *any* time without notice.

If the website has a solid privacy policy, they will also indicate that you will be notified of an updated policy by mail or email, and have a chance to revise your "opt in" preferences. Companies that do not do this are the ones that you should be leary about sharing info with in the first place.

What about a new service from a website that opts registered users in automatically? Many privacy policies now include "By using or visiting the site you consent to... blah blah" So, you don't even have to register for a lot of websites before they start scraping information.

The websites which do this are generally offering you a service or product of some sort at no cost. Please understand that if you do not wish to fork out some cash for the paid version of whatever it is, you should expect to compensate them via having your information distributed. It's not unreasonable, and it's really coming back to the simple fact that nothing is really free.

You do know that the right to privacy is protected by the constitution, right?

The constitutional privacy protection is more about "big brother" type of stuff, where the US government cannot monitor US citizens without a warrant or court order. This aspect of the constitution has been shot to shit with all the bullshit "homeland security" laws that went out after 9/11. Things like the full-body scanners in airports, warrant-less phone taps and interception of digital communications are all unconstitutional elements that are currently in play within our society.

The "internet privacy" between consumers and businesses is not regulated by this provision, and should not be, because the consumer willingly provides their information to said company. I think at most that a company should be required to disclose what they do with the information they collect, and provide a notification if that policy changes...I do not think the government has any right to further interfere with businesses - they already do that enough and our economy is suffering for it.

I personally try to keep a quote in mind I heard not long ago, "If it's free, you aren't the customer. You're the product being sold."

Yeah, that's the truth...and I don't see the need for the government to meddle with that, because it has been working fine for ages.

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